How to Make Belgian Liege Waffles

Yield: 10 waffles

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

How to Make Belgian Liege Waffles – the BEST waffles ever! Includes a step-by-step video and tons of recipe tips so your waffles turn out perfect. Top them with fruit, Nutella, and whipped cream or ice cream for a truly outrageous breakfast or dessert!

How to Make Belgian Liege Waffles - aka the BEST waffles EVER. Bits of crunchy caramelized sugar in every fluffy bite. I top mine with Nutella, fruit, and whipped cream!

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Completely customizable based off your toppings, but the waffles themselves are definitely sweet.
Texture: The best part. The bites of crunchy caramelized sugar pearls throughout are to die for when contrasted with the ultra fluffy yet slightly chewy texture. It’s difficult to describe but just trust me, if you’ve never had a Liege waffle you must try one.
Ease: Not the quickest or the easiest, but that’s why I’ve created the video above and included all those tips & tricks. You can do it!
Appearance: Who could pass up on a bite? No one!
Pros: The best waffles ever, hands down.
Cons: Definitely a special occasion recipe.
I make this again? We’ve already dug into the leftovers!

How to Make Belgian Liege Waffles - aka the BEST waffles EVER. Bits of crunchy caramelized sugar in every fluffy bite. I top mine with Nutella, fruit, and whipped cream!

If you’ve never had a Belgian Liege Waffle at a restaurant, while traveling, or at a food truck, then you MUST try one asap. Luckily for you I’m sharing my favorite recipe, a step-by-step video, and all my best tips to help you make these incredible waffles.

How to Make Belgian Liege Waffles - aka the BEST waffles EVER. Bits of crunchy caramelized sugar in every fluffy bite. I top mine with Nutella, fruit, and whipped cream!

They’re made with dough instead of batter, and it makes ALL the difference. There’s also made with pearl sugar, which is like the best secret ingredient ever. My favorite part about these waffles, though, is that you can top them with whatever your heart desires for a truly delightful treat. Check out the video below to see how they’re made! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.

Belgian Liege Waffle Recipe Tips

Although these waffles require a bit of time and patience, they are SO worth it. I’ve included all the recipe tips and advice I could think of for you just below. Comment with any other questions!

Dough?!

Yes, these waffles are made with a yeast raised dough, not a batter. This means they need a bit more love and attention than batter waffles but they are SO MUCH BETTER. Most dough recipes can be kneaded by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer, but I wouldn’t recommend it for this one. Watch the video above to see how cubes of butter are incorporated into this dough to make it ultra rich and flavorful. Doing this by hand would be challenging and messy.

The dough needs 2 hours for its first rise. Then, it needs to sit in the fridge overnight, or up to 24 hours. There’s no rushing this process if you want the best waffles. Plan ahead!

Instant yeast?
I always work with instant yeast because it’s so easy. It’s also called rapid-rise or quick-rise. If you don’t have it, you can always use regular active dry yeast. You’ll need to combine the active dry yeast with the warm milk and water for 5 minutes, or until frothy, before you can add proceed with the recipe.

Pearl Sugar

Part of what makes a Belgian Liege waffle so special is the addition of pearl sugar. It translates to little bites of slightly crunchy, slightly caramelized sugary heaven. Pearl sugar is pretty difficult to find in the U.S., so I just order it on Amazon. The stuff isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s well worth it for a special occasion. If you don’t want to deal with that, you can also break up sugar cubes into smaller pieces. Not quite the same but close enough!

Cooking

Of course, these wouldn’t be Belgian waffles without a Belgian Waffle Iron! It might seem strange to cook dough instead of batter in a waffle iron, but it works beautifully. The pearl sugar starts to caramelize and can make a bit of a mess inside the waffle iron, so it’s a good idea to take a little wad of paper towels to wipe it down every few waffles. Just be careful not to burn yourself. Use heat resistant tongs (wood or silicone coated to avoid scratching the nonstick waffle iron surface) to remove the waffles to a baking sheet once cooked.

UPDATE: To those asking if you can use a regular waffle iron for this recipe, reader Judit recently gave it a try and reported, “definitely not disappointed!!! These are absolutely AMAZING!!!!” Check out her picture:

judit-belgian-waffles

Make Ahead

The waffles can be kept warm in a 200°F oven until ready to serve.

If you want to freeze waffles, shave a minute or so off the cooking time so they won’t overcook when you reheat. Place the waffles on a baking sheet and pop into the freezer until solid. Remove to airtight containers and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Reheat in a 250°F oven, or until completely warmed through.

Toppings

The options for toppings are truly limitless here. My favorites include:

-Nutella (duh!)
-Peanut butter
-Cookie butter (see my post for making DIY Cookie butter here)
-Salted caramel
-Dulce de Leche
-Fruit (strawberries, bananas, and raspberries are my go-to’s)
-Whipped cream (always homemade)
-Ice cream
-Cinnamon sugar
-Lemon curd

How to Make Belgian Liege Waffles with pearl sugar

How to make
Belgian Liege Waffles

Recipe By Tessa Arias, Handle the Heat
Yield: 10 waffles
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole milk, lukewarm
1/3 cup water, lukewarm
3 teaspoons instant yeast
2 large eggs, at room temperature and beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
3 2/3 cups (16.5 ounces) bread flour
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) pearl sugar (or sugar cubes, broken into pieces)

Directions

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the milk, water, yeast, eggs, honey, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Mix until well combined.

On low speed, add in all but 1 cup of flour and mix until combined. On low speed, add the butter, one cube at a time, thoroughly kneading in each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed before adding in any more butter. Once all the butter has been incorporated, add the remaining flour and knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Remove the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 2 hours. Punch the dough down, cover again with plastic, and place in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours.

When ready to cook, heat up a Belgian waffle iron. Remove the dough from the fridge and knead in all of the pearl sugar. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.

Place first ball of waffle dough on grid and cook according to waffle maker’s instructions. Cook until deeply golden all over, about 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully transfer with tongs or a fork to baking sheet.

Keep waffles warm in a 200°F oven if you plan to eat them right away. These waffles must be served warm or the pearl sugar will harden. Freeze any leftover waffles and reheat in a 200°F oven until warmed through.

About Tessa...

Tessa is a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. She loves to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. She's on a mission to make the world a more unapologetically DELICIOUS place. Tessa lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

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29 Responses to “How to Make Belgian Liege Waffles”

  1. #
    Joanne — January 27, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    on the Belgian Liege Waffles, i don’t have this type waffle maker, just a regular one. can I kind of press the ball down and put it in my regular waffle maker??

  2. #
    Robin @ thebakingexchange — January 31, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    I’ve had the waffles in Belgian and yours look exactly like them. Well done 🙂 We’ll be getting a belgian waffle maker soon, so I have to save this post. 🙂

    • #
      Tessa — February 2, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      That’s wonderful to hear! 🙂

  3. #
    Debby — February 24, 2016 at 8:14 am

    My waffle iron was a mess after making these. Burnt sugar on the griddles. How do you clean or not let them get so awfully sticky and burnt?

    • #
      Tessa — February 24, 2016 at 9:57 am

      Hi Debby! Did your read the post? “The pearl sugar starts to caramelize and can make a bit of a mess inside the waffle iron, so it’s a good idea to take a little wad of paper towels to wipe it down every few waffles. Just be careful not to burn yourself.” Hope that helps!

  4. #
    Gage Kartchner — April 15, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Making this waffle dough was a breeze for me! However, after letting it sit at room temperature for 2 and a half hours I noticed that my dough was hardly rising. I’m suspecting that I used a dead yeast or the liquids I combined with the yeast were not warm enough to activate the reaction. Nevertheless, I’m curious to know if using this sense of a dough will be okay when cooking the waffles?

  5. #
    Sydney — June 9, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Hey I was curious If I can substitute glue free flour for the bread flour? Thank you in advance.

  6. #
    Sydney — June 9, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Hey I was curious If I can substitute glutten free flour for the bread flour? Thank you in advance.

  7. #
    Nancy Midyett — June 28, 2016 at 11:12 am

    On January 27, 2016 a question was asked but not answered. I have the same question….I only have a regular waffle maker and am wondering if I can use that one or do I have to buy a Belgian Waffle Maker. And what is the difference between the two. I am dying to make these and even got the Pearl Sugar. I live on Social Scurity and a new waffle maker just isn’t at the top of my list to buy. Would you have any idea where I could get a used one for less than what Amazon is charging? ($38.00).
    I love all your tips and great recipes and have learned a lot in the short time I’ve been receiving your blogs. Keep up the good work, it’s much appreciated.

    • #
      Tessa — June 28, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      Hi Nancy! This recipe is really meant for a Belgian waffle maker, so I’ve never given it a try in a standard one. If you give it a shot, let us know how it turns out!

  8. #
    Eileen — July 15, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    If i must use AP flour, what amount should i use?
    Thx

  9. #
    Erik — July 21, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Eileen, use the same amount of AP flour as you would bread flour. It may have a little less structure, and you may want to hold back 1 or 2 tablespoons of liquid. Add it later (but before the 2 hour fermentation) if the dough seems too stiff.

  10. #
    Erik — July 21, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Sydney, developed gluten is what holds this dough together. If you’re going with gluten free flour, you’re introducing a real wild card. I’d say all bets are off and you are in total experimental mode. You may wish to look at America’s Test Kitchen’s Gluten Free cookbooks (there are 2 volumes). They’ve done considerable research in this area, and the bottom line seems to be that every recipe is different. You may have a lot of trial and error experimenting ahead of you.

  11. #
    Erik — July 21, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Gage, another possibility is that the liquid was too hot and you actually killed the yeast. In any case I would not use dough that has not properly leavened. The texture will be way too dense, and the flavor will be flat. Throw it out and start over.

  12. #
    Roqaia — October 16, 2016 at 12:28 am

    I have tried lots of belgian waffles recipes before but this is the best, thank you for sharing it with us. One question can i freez the dough?

    • #
      Tessa — October 16, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      So happy to hear that! And yes, you can freeze the dough and also the waffles. Take a look at the post under “make ahead” for instructions.

  13. #
    Haneen — October 30, 2016 at 3:04 am

    Can I use diamonds sugar instead of pearl sugar

  14. #
    Brandon — February 20, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Hi!

    My pearl sugar never seems to dissolve, and I’ve tried increasing the temperature and the time — no luck!

    I know you want some level of crunch in the waffle, but true Liege waffles are supposed to show caramelization that comes from the pearl sugar dissolving onto the waffle. I I’m using the standard Waffle Pantry Belgian Pearl Sugar.

    Any help?

    • #
      Tessa — February 23, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      Oh, how strange! You might want to break up the pieces of pearl sugar more with a mallet or rolling pin. Some home waffle irons just don’t heat the same way as the commercial ones the pros use to make Liege waffles :/

  15. #
    Jenn — February 27, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Hi!! Quick question, about how large are the balls? Like a little bigger than a golf ball? Thank you for the wonderful recipe! 🙂

  16. #
    Amy Berry — March 7, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Can you freeze the dough?

    • #
      Tessa — March 8, 2017 at 8:17 am

      Hi Amy, there are instructions for freezing and making ahead in the post 🙂

  17. #
    Ivan Guille sarmiento — March 15, 2017 at 5:59 am

    HI Tessa! I used all purpose flour for this recipe and i followed every portions to a T. when i started mixing the ingredients before the butter, it was so wet and so i had to add the remaining flour before i put in the butter because it was sooo runny…. will this make a difference?

  18. #
    Jen — April 13, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Can this recipe be doubled? Thanks!

  19. #
    Tom — April 22, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Hi Tessa, it’s funny, but you kind of ‘mixed’ (no pun intended) two styles of Belgian waffles by adding topping to the Liege waffle… (here in Belgium we usually only put those thins like cream and strawberries on a Bruxelles Waffle, not a Liege one…). Anyway, was fun to check your recipe!

  20. #
    vasili — April 28, 2017 at 8:14 am

    HI, I HAVE A NEW SWEET FOOD TRUCK HERE IN PERTH WEST AUSTRALIA.
    I LOVE THIS RECIPE, AND I WANT TO USE IT FOR MY BUSINESS, BUT IS NOT ON AUSTRALIA MEASUREMENTS, CAN YOU PLEASE SENT ME ON AUSTRALIA MEASUREMENTS?,

    THANKS

  21. #
    Julie — May 20, 2017 at 5:39 am

    I just finished making the waffles, we really liked them but found them to be more like a pretzel. Is there anything I can do to make them more cake like?

    Thanks!

  22. #
    ray — June 1, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Hi Tessa, in the recipe, it says that we can “Keep waffles warm in a 200°F oven if you plan to eat them right away.” That’s if I’m NOT planning to eat then right away, right? I am doing a waffle buffet and need to know if I can make these in advance and then just keep them in the warm oven until someone asks for one without sacrificing taste or texture. Would you know how long before they dry out in the warm oven? Thanks-

    • #
      Tessa — June 2, 2017 at 9:28 am

      I haven’t kept these in a warm oven for longer than 1 hour, so I’m not sure what would happen beyond that!

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